Years ago, I had an event happen that left me scared, both emotionally and physically. The event severed friendships and bruised my relationship with my spouse. It also left me without a safe feeling at church.
I had a community within my church, but when relationships within the group soured, I was left with deep trust issues and no sense of community. I stayed home. I felt out of place, talked about and unwelcomed. The longer I stayed home, the less I wanted to go out. It became a vicious cycle.
I eventually went to a church service. I cried through the whole service. I was frozen in place with a major panic attack. I cried because I could not move. I was surrounded by people which just added to the panic. Fear was a constant friend for me, one that I just could not seem to break up with.
I discovered writing just before the event started. It is what caused the event. But I closed the book on writing during the time after the event. During the time of my panic attacks, I never opened my notebook to write. I spent a lot of time in scripture and in prayer. Prayer helped more than anything.
I eventually was able to move pass the panic I felt when coming into church. Years passed, friendships changed, and new ones developed. No longer a slave to fear of the past, I found myself welcomed and loved by my church again. Forgiveness was key to the release of the fear that gripped me. Eventually I started writing again. I discovered God calling me to write.
Fast forward to our current times. I had a panic attack last night. I had told my husband I had a feeling that I could not really identify, but it reminded me of that time when I felt unsafe at church. Last night as I lay in bed trying to go to sleep, I looked at my spouse and a thought hit me. “When will we be affected by the coronavirus?” and then “Which one of us and how bad?” followed.
Today as I talked it over with him, I burst into tears. I now understand that feeling. I am full of the fear of what I cannot control. I cannot control others who do not want to wear a mask outside. I cannot control others wanting freedom. I cannot control the people in charge to make decisions that would help resolve the spread of the invisible threat. I look at my front door and think, I cannot allow others in because of what they will bring in. I cannot stop the thoughts flooding my mind.
Fear is real. Fear, like any disease, is invisible. But the effects are disastrous. Fear is a disease for me. The disease spreads through me at a slow pace. But one day the disease creates something in me that is almost paralyzing. I am to that point at the moment. Scripture and prayer are the only cure for me. The book of Psalms is my go-to for fear release.
Psalm 34:4-5 “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved onto the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Psalms 91:4-5 “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, now the arrow that flies by day.”
Psalm 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
All these and a few more not listed (Psalm 23, Psalm 121, Psalm 91) become a prayer. I need to acknowledge my fear to the only One who can take it away. I need to praise my Father because He loves me. I need to trust in His plan for me and for my family. I need to talk to Him often.
I hope you do not find yourself gripped in the same fear as me. But if you are, please know I am praying these Psalms. If you need a friend who is going through this with you, I am here. I pray that we overcome the diseases affecting us.